I Am, I Can, I Will: A Guided Journal of Self-Discovery for Black Girls

I Am, I Can, I Will: A Guided Journal of Self-Discovery for Black Girls
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
January 16, 2024
Buy This Book
Bold statements, compelling quotes, and thoughtful prompts lead young Black girls on a journey of ancestral wisdom and self-discovery in this beautifully illustrated guided journal.

I AM a voice for my people.  I CAN create my own opportunities.  I WILL live with hope.
These and other powerful mantras will enlighten, engage, and empower young Black girls to embrace their connection to a long, unbroken line of historical and contemporary Black women who have inspired people through the centuries and across continents. The courage, integrity, humanity, passion, and intellect that flows through the lives of these foremothers is each girl’s to discover, inherit, and enhance with her own accomplishments.
Meaningful quotes and biographies provide real-life examples of how readers can implement what they learn in their own lives. And guided questions and prompts lead girls through a process of self-reflection that acknowledges their own potential to inspire and lead.

Editor review

1 review
Inspirational Biography and Activity Collection
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Marian Wright Edelman, founder of The Children's Defense Fund, said “You can't be what you can't see.” This book helps to change that for Black girls, with its mix of collective biography and writing prompts.

This is broken into three chapters, based on the phrasing of the title. In the "I Am" chapter, each woman is given a statement that summarizes her most important acchievement and the accompanying text gives more details. We learn about well known figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Kamala Harris, but also Lois Mailou Jones, a Harlem Renaissance artist and Julieanna Richardson, the founder of TheHistoryMakers.Com. There are several pages of writing prompts, suggestions for drawings, and activities that invite reflection in young readers about the qualities of these foremothers.

The "I Can" chapter looks at qualities that young readers can see in others and manifest in themselves, like courage for overcoming obstacles and helping others. Some of the more familiar faces we seen include Angela Davis and Wilma Rudolph, but there are many more women of whom I have not heard, such as disability rights activist and fashion designer Haben Girma, 18th century human rights advocate Elizabet "Mumbet" Freeman, US family court judge Jane Bolin, and Johnetta Cole, a college president and organization leader. These mini biographies are once again accompanied by activities and full page, full color illustrations of the women described.

The final section is "I Will", and encourages young girls to think of the things that they can accomplish. Examples include Marine aviator and combat pilot Vernice Armour, viral immunologist and researcherr Kizzy Corbett, and arctic explorer Barbara Hillary. These examples are drawn from many points in time, and cover a wide range of professions and accomplishments. The book doesn't have an index, but does have a good bibliography.

Good Points
This would make a fantastic gift for Black History Month to a young girl who loves to write and draw!

Collective biographies are always great to have on hand for sparking interest in further reading, and I know that as a middle school student I would have ADORED all of the writing prompts and would not have rested until every single page was filled in. This would also make a good keep sake for motivated readers and writers who put down their middle grad hopes and dreams. Sadly, my favorite women from history, Margaret Murray Washington and Flemmie Pansy Kittrell were not included, but that just means we need another book like this one!
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